Presented at Globians Film Festival 2005: The Abbey of the Genesee is a short film from the perspective of the Trappists Monks of the Abbey of the Genesee, in Piffard, NY. The Abbey of the Genesee is a community of contemplative monks belonging to the world-wide Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (O.C.S.O.) more commonly known as Trappists. As described in their Constitutions the community belongs to "...a monastic institute wholly ordered to contemplation. The monks dedicate themselves to the worship of God in a hidden life within the monastery under the Rule of St. Benedict. They lead a monastic way of life in solitude and silence, in assiduous prayer and joyful penitence..." -- We take a brief look into the monastic life style, focusing on three major themes: Labor, Lectio Divina (divine reading) and Prayer. We are also able to observe the monks go about their daily life. Also how they serve each other and the athmosphere that the monastery has. The monks tell their own story, with personal reflections on how the monks serve God and their community in search for God alone.
September 16, 2010
A very nicely made documentary.
One thing that sticks in my mind is the Monk's description of the monastery as being "sometimes Eden and sometimes battleground." A rather provocative statement to end on.
April 17, 2006
An insight into the peacefulness of monks
If you want to experience a glimpse of what it is like to be in a monastery, view this movie, The Abbey of the Genesee. The background sound of the monks singing and chanting gives a sense of the peacefulness of the place and the monks who live there. The scenes of the monastery and its grounds, especially of the deer, make real the serenity of this tranquil environment. The commentaries by the monks make clear the meaning of the monks' life -- to grow close to God and to help others grow close to God. Although, as it is explained, a monk's life is to grow close to God alone, they do this in community. As one monk says, it is not for himself alone but for others, and as another says, this is the environment that best suits these men in their quest for God. What is so revealing about this movie also is that, although these men are steeped in prayer, they acknowledge that prayer is not easy, and they stress the importance and prayerfulness of ordinary work. You come away from this movie, as you might from the monastery itself, assured that ordinary lives, inside or outside the monastery, are routes for achieving closeness to God.